MAJOR DECISION: Christmas holidays can be excluded from 28-day period for challenging an ERA determination

The likelihood for confusion to occur over when the 28 days for filing a challenge to an Employment Relations Authority determination expires has been much reduced by a recent decision of the Employment Court. In making its decision, the Court refused to follow the earlier decision of the Court in Vice-Chancellor of Lincoln University v Stewart. Difficulties have arisen in situations in which the Authority has made its determination late in the year.... Read More

What is the Employment Relations Authority?

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) is a more formal step to resolving an employment dispute or personal grievance if mediation doesn’t work. The ERA is an independent body set up to investigate workplace disputes. 

Both employers and employees can lodge an application in the ERA, the filing fee currently costs $71.56. Once an application has been lodged with the ERA there will be an investigation meeting where both sides can put forward... Read More

Fact that cleaning was (possibly) a component of work did not put council employees in the “vulnerable” category

The Employment Court has decided that five categories of council worker working in public parks did not provide cleaning services, a finding that deprived employees belonging to those categories of the right-to-transfer protections accorded to so-called “vulnerable” employees. None of the categories of park worker included the name “cleaner”. It was argued, however, that all were required to pick up litter before performing their various... Read More

Section 103A (would/could distinction) and reinstatement provision analysed by Employment Court

The Employment Court has lost no time in giving guidance on the implications of the recent changes to the test of justification for dismissal or disadvantage and to the reinstatement provision. The personal grievance cases in which these questions arose (Angus v Ports of Auckland Limited and McKean v Ports of Auckland Limited) will be decided by single judges in due course, but a full court of the Employment Court handed down an interlocutory... Read More

New test of justification considered by the Authority

For the first time, the new test to be used by the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court when considering whether an employer’s actions were justified has been considered by the Authority. In Sigglekow v Waikato District Health Board [2011] NZERA Auckland 384, Authority Member Rachel Larmer, said: I consider the new test means that both process and substance issues are to be assessed in light of whether a fair and reasonable employer... Read More